Amritsar, Punjab: Viewed as “temporary respite” to the Haryana Sikh Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (HSGPC-Adhoc) president Jagdish Singh Jhinda and his four associates, Akal Takht has deferred edict on them to October 1 with Jathedar Gurbachan Singh clarifying the edict would be based on thorough probe into the September 13 Kurukshetra gurdwara incident.
Akal Takht has given clean chit to the HSGPC leader and the SGPC member Bibi Ravinder Kaur in respect of charges that she was part of a group of HSGPC leaders, led by Jhinda, which, allegedly “forced entry” apart from “usurping” the control of the Kurukshetra gurdwara on September 13.
Giani Gurbachan Singh said though, Bibi Ravinder Kaur’s name figured with the six HSGPC leaders who, were summoned at Akal Takht to explain their conduct on the bases of news reports but, she has been absolved as it was found she was not in the gurdwara at the time of the incident. Bibi Ravinder Kaur had clarified she was not in the gurdwara and was at her home in Ajrana village in Kurukshetra district when the incident took place. The decision to defer pronouncement of judgement in the case came following four-hour- long session of five Sikh high priests, led by Giani Gurbachan Singh, who initiated the deliberations at 11.30 am after Jhinda and others presented their case before the Sikh high priests as directed by Akal Takht Jathedar.
Giani Gurbachan Singh earlier indicated since Jhinda and others had “indulged in violence”, they were likely to face severe action. But clarification by Jhinda’s associates-Kanwaljit Singh Ajrana and Hazoor Singh Nambardar-that they had not indulged in violence and could not think of violating the Sikh “Maryada” an they had “merely taken over “Sewa Sambhal” of the gurdwara in symbolic manner apparently softened the high priests. Jhinda’s associates had also asked the Jathedar to hold an inquiry before reaching conclusion or pronouncing judgement on them.
“Jhinda and others have clarified stance on the incident and the Sikh high priests would deliberate on it. The pronouncement of the edict would be made on October 1 after thorough probe into the matter. Jhinda and his associates have been summoned to appear before Akal Takht on October 1,” said Giani Gurbachan Singh.
Jhinda said he and his associates had come to Akal Takht as “Nimana Sikhs” (humble Sikhs). “We will abide by directive of Akal Takht Jathedar.” said Jhinda while heading for Akal Takht from Manji Sahib gurdwara with 250 Sikhs from Haryana. They were accompanied by SGPC secretary Dalmegh Singh.
The Golden Temple complex was cordoned off by the police in view of the arrival of Jhinda and others, who, reached the complex at 7 am. Policemen were also deployed in the complex in civvies apart from SGPC Task Force officials. The police officials shadowed Jhinda and associates and even accompanied him when they left Amritsar in the evening.
Before heading to Akal Takht Jhinda appealed to his fellow Sikhs to not to raise slogans and maintain religious decorum during the hearing proceedings. Jhinda also handed over three-page explanation r to Giani Gurbachan Singh during the hearing while, Sikhs with him watched the proceedings patiently.
On SGPC chief Avtar Singh, Jhinda alleged power had “gone to the head of Jathedar Avtar Singh”, who, even “pronounced” judgement on them without awaiting the judgement of Akal Takht. “If Avtar Singh had right to pronounce judgement on us then what was the meaning of summoning us .?” he said adding, “We have been demanding our right of holding “Sewa Sambhal” of Haryana gurdwaras and nothing else. We hold Akal Takht in highest esteem.” Jhinda and others, said their demand for separate SGPC in Haryana stood intact and they did not want to comment on the issue today.